Mega Man 9 was able to use 8-bit graphics as a selling point because six out of the then eight numbered games were on the Famicom / Nintendo Entertainment System. As such, a majority of Mega Man's fanbase recognized him as a Nintendo icon, an "old-school" figure that hold fond memories of simple controllers, sine wave melodies, and bad box-art. And then we have the Mega Man X series. The first saga of the series started and concluded on the Super Nintendo Entertainment system. The games brought Mega Man to a different place with fast-paced action, cutting edge graphics, and an inventiveness that gave the series a special glow to differentiate itself from it's cross-eyed, older cousin. X1, X2, & X3 gave some of the best action on the SNES.
Mega Man X then took the step to the PlayStation, the latest in gaming technology. Still retaining the same style of the SNES era games, and expanding on ideas like the cutscenes from the PS1 version of X3, Mega Man X4 again took Mega Man X to new, unexplored places. While X5 and X6 can almost be seen as a regression of the progress made in X4, and regardless of the disdain from the quality of how Capcom handled the new additions such as anime and voices in X4, the games did not rely on gimmicks to remind us of past times (OK, yeah, X6 did. And when I think about it, X5 did, too. Uh... shut up).
Mega Man X7. Before you break the screen in anger from reading that, just remember this. X7, again, brought back voice acting throughout the whole game, and took advantage of the PlayStation 2's cel-shading capabilities and brought the X series into the 3D realm. In all honesty, X7 would have been better if it DID regress to the SNES era, but the X series has always given games that try new things, that bring something new. 3D was that new item, and was a mixed bag. I mean, yeah, we cringe when we play X7, but Command Mission would not be the same were it done with sprites. Command Mission was a beautiful game, from the decent voice acting, to the music, to the visuals. It was a RPG, too, which turned some people off, but it was a new direction, something fresh and new to discover in the world of Mega Man.
X8 brought us back to the world of 2D (and only two and a half months after CM). Again, the X series was given a face lift, with a slimline, more tech-influenced, and almost minimalistic approach to the characters and their surroundings. The feelings are mixed as far as how well that worked, but I personally liked it a lot. The cutscenes were beautiful and impressive.
What the hell am I trying to say? Hold on. I know it's Friday, but let's do some math. There are three Mega Man X games on the Super Nintendo. Moving to the Sony PlayStation, we can add another three games. The next console to examine would be the Sony PlayStation 2, which saw, again, three X games. Two if you want to exclude Command Mission for not being a numbered game or for also splitting itself on the Nintendo GameCube.
OK, uh... 3 + 3 + 3 = 9. Yeah, nine. A nice, divisible number. Hmm, this is weird. If there were three games on each system, that means it doesn't seem to show any loyalty to any one system. Well, I mean, the SNES games were the best! But so many people love X4... And X8 revived the series! So which style do we choose?
None. The X series should do what it always does, progress and upgrade to the current times. It only seems natural. It annoys me so much when I read remarks from people claiming that the next possible X series game should be 16-bit because Mega Man 9 was 8-bit. Mega Man 9 could benefit from going back to the beginning. The fan base recognized Mega Man as a staple in the success of that gaming generation. Mega Man X2? A dope game, but not so much a vein that kept the SNES' heart pumping.
I swear, if I ever have to break this down again, there will BE no X9. And I can make it happen, ask about me.